Anton Mesmer was he who first induced the state of hypnosis. He used to use a magnet that moves along the patient's body to improve blood circulation. Forgetting his magnet and once at home, Anton Mesmer was forced to resort to another object, a piece of wood, and found that patients responded well. But Mesmer did not realise at the time that the object used was important, but suggestions which included the patient. (Ovidiu Lungu, 2004)
Mielu Zlate (2007) considered hypnosis as an "altered state of consciousness and located between wakefulness and sleep, but closer to waking than sleep." Subject keeps contact with the environment during the hypnotic trance helped by the hypnotist, and cognitive changes occur at the perception, memory, thoughts, feelings, imagination, etc..This underlines the increased activism of the brain.
According to the American Psychological Association, hypnosis is a procedure whereby the subject is suggested imaginative experiences to change his subjective experiences, to change his perceptions, sensations, thoughts or behaviour. (Peter J. Hawkins after A.P.A. 2009)
Hypnotic trance has as main features the reduce of planning function (hypnotised subject loses the initiative and will expect the hypnotist to suggest what to do.), attention becomes more selective than usual (the subject which is told to obey only the voice of the hypnotist will ignore any other voice in the room). Imaginative production is easily evoked (subject may find that the lives distance experience in time and space). Control and increased tolerance for low reality distortion. (subject might unconditionally accept hallucinatory experiences). Increased suggestibility (subject must accept the suggestions). Post-hypnotic amnesia (if the subject gets instructions for this, the deeply impressed subject will forget all or almost all) (Rita L. Atkinson, 2002)
Hypnotherapy applications are endless, from the surgical anesthesia which can be used at birth without pain, to treatment of specific problems such as anxiety, phobias, smoking cessation, sexual dysfunction. However, failures can come from the subject's attitude against hypnotherapy and hypnosis. A negative attitude may hinder treatment. Subjects can not be controlled during their trance unwittingly. (I Holdevici, 1991)
Hypnotherapy for depressive persons contain a model proposed by Yapko in 1992, 9 sequences containing the following stages: "Informal interview and data collection, development of positive expectations, flexibility to facilitate the development, expansion frames of reference, test alternatives, enhancing situational specificity, integration mechanisms feedback, the incorporation, clarifying limits generalization." (J.L. Vargha after Yapko, 2007
Anxiety is one of the specific problems that can be treated with hypnosis. Countless clients feel anxious when faces with situations such as sexual behavior, injections, examinations, surgical, childbirth. Anxiety can be addressed by building self techniques, time management or goal setting. Elevator phobia, for example, can be treated with techniques to enhance self and establishing goals. Subjects may be suggested to imagine, during trance, in a situation where need to use the elevator. After leaving trance reality testing is necessary.
Another application of hypnosis can focus on client's desire to stop smoking. Smokers say that cigarettes reduce stress, but is usually very difficult for them to give up cigarettes. Physiologically, the cigarette acts as a stressor on the body. In order to facilitate smoking cessation, the therapist must use cognitive-behavioral strategies including education about the dangers of smoking by presenting information related to many diseases. Importance of motivation and social support must be emphasized, as increased motivation is an important factor for successful treatment. Techniques on self-monitoring, self-management can be suggested also to the client. (Peter J. Hawkins, 2009)
Sexual dysfunction is a point of interest for both client and hypnotherapist. With hypnosis you can deal with problems like inhibited sexual desire, sexual aversion, erectile dysfunction in men, arousal disorder in women, both female and male anorgasmia, dyspareunia, etc. Hypnosis can be used without a partner and allows a fast exploration, identification of underlying conflicts dysfunction, increased hope, self-confidence. Therapist can use techniques to reduce anxiety, change problematic emotions, increase emotional state and strengthen the sense of self control. (Peter J. Hawkins, 2009)
Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) occurs in people who witnessed or were confronted with traumatic events. In Post-traumatic stress disorder may be useful two types of treatment: psychotherapy and medication. Hypnotherapy helps customers with the negative original traumatic experience. (Peter J. Hawkins, 2009)
Research is needed to demonstrate the proper functioning of hypnotherapy, typology of patients and symptoms. Whatever symptoms treated by hypnosis, therapists should not forget that human beings are unique and react differently to treatment. Therapists must seek the appropriate method for each client to use the benefits of hypnosis.
For Hypnotherapy treatment in the South Wales UK area visit www.hypnotist.uk.com
For training in practical hypnotic techniques (hypnotherapy) visit www.elestialtraining.co.uk